Rhodes University has shut down all academic activities for two days following the death of a student.
Rhodes University has confirmed that it has been investigating an allegation of rape made by a student who passed away on Friday, August 3.
Third year BA student, Khensani Maseko, 23, committed suicide at her home in Johannesburg after reporting an alleged rape that had happened in May this year which, according to Rhodes University, was reported to the institution on July 30.
A statement released by the institution a short while ago said that “The University, working with the South African Police (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority is pushing for an inquest into Khensani’s death”.
The institution added that “a notice to suspend the alleged perpetrator was issued this morning.”
Maseko had been staying in Johannesburg with her family after she reported the alleged rape but had been expected to return to Rhodes today, August 6, “for a meeting with the support and investigation team”. Maseko’s family said in a statement that, “as a family, we do not take lightly the circumstances leading up to Khensani’s death … We urge that the law be allowed to take its course.”
News of Maseko’s passing circulated on social media throughout the weekend after her Instagram posts alluded to her death. The final post, pictured below, refers to rape which many had interpreted as a contributing factor to her death.
The university will continue to observe its academic shutdown in honour of the late student with all tests and assessments rescheduled to next week. The shutdown was originally called for by the Rhodes Student Representatives Council (SRC), of which Maseko was a member in 2016.
Rhodes University’s vice-chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela has ordered that the university flags fly at half-mast until Maseko’s funeral on Thursday, August 9.
The Rhodes SRC and university management have agreed to a march to Settler’s Monument on Tuesday, August 7.
FEATURED PHOTO: Khensani Maseko. Photo: Facebook.com
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